Øystein Neerland (57) has been hired as the new sports manager of Norwegian Top Football (NTF).
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The former Molde director will take up his new job at NTF – the clubs’ interest organization – during December, and will take over from Pål Arne Hansen, who has held the job on a temporary basis.
– I see it as a central and important role in top football. It is something that strongly motivates me to step into. It is exciting to work with football, since it is a complex business with many aspects around it. I think it will be very exciting, says Neerland to VG about the job as sports manager in Norwegian Top Football.
Neerland has over several decades built up good experience in football through, among other things, being a player, board member and CEO of Molde FK. He has also been a board member of NTF before.
– I think that experience is good to take with you. I know top football well, with the clubs and the leaders. Having it in my backpack I think will be good, says Neerland.
– What will be the most important thing for you in this job?
– We think that developing Norwegian football and climbing a little on the ranking list in the time ahead is an obvious main goal, says the 57-year-old.
– Øystein has solid competence and experience that will help to lift the sporting development in Norwegian football. We are very pleased with him returning to football in this important position, says Leif Øverland, CEO of NTF, in a press release.
During his time as a football player, he played seven seasons – from 1987 to 1993 – for Molde at the highest level in Norway. He has also been on the board of Molde FK for 18 years, and has had the roles of deputy manager, sports manager, and four years as managing director of the Romsdal club.
– Do you see it as problematic that you have that background from Molde FK when you go into this job as sports manager in NTF?
– No. To the extent that there is talk that I will favor Molde, then there should be no problem. This is about improving Norwegian football as a whole, says Neerland.
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Neerland will work a lot with those reports as sports manager, but right now he would not say much about it.
– I think it’s a bit of a much bigger picture than starting to think something special about it. It’s a lot about a whole, and there is a lot of good that has happened in Norwegian football lately, he says and points out, among other things. Bodø / Glimt’s achievements in Europe and that there are many good young Norwegian players outside Norway’s borders.
– At the same time, there are some that are not so good, and we can get better at a lot. That is the mindset here.